Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, July 7, 2015

The NCAA, EA Sports settlement is in. And athletes could receive thousands.

According to legal documents obtained by USA Today, many athletes are ?likely? to receive ?at least $1,000? and some could receive ?$6,700 or more.?


Fun piece from, which wonders what is your program?s brand? And what should it be?


So, with Bo Ryan poised to leave after this season, who is his likely replacement? Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says current Wisconsin assistant Greg Gard is the one to watch. Makes sense to me. Why stray from the Ryan family tree? Gard deserves the chance.

Potrykus notes the reasons are several: First and foremost, Ryan believes the 44-year-old Gard is adequately prepared to successfully run a major program. Gard?s fingerprints are all over the program. Whether it has been recruiting, scouting, game-planning or tweaking UW?s offense over the last few seasons, Gard has played a lead role. That development wasn?t an accident. Ryan, who will turn 68 during his final season, trusts Gard and has been prepping him for the future.


Until a Ryan successor is named, Jon Rothstein of says Ryan has a challenging year ahead.

Rothstein notes that the Big Ten is going to be much better next season with Maryland, Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, and Purdue all looking like Top-25 teams. Wisconsin has two anchors returning in Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, but it will be up to guys like Zak Showalter, Vitto Brown and redshirt power Ethan Happ to take the necessary steps forward so that Ryan's last year is a memorable one. It?s gonna be tough.

If it was me, I would have bowed out after the national title game. How can it possibly get better for Ryan in 2015-16 without Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker?


I already have professed my love and admiration for the Minnesota offensive line.

Now, the great Sid Hartman has validated my love. Enough said. Talent AND depth.

Hartman says if quarterback Mitch Leidner can improve his passing and the Gophers can replace running back David Cobb and All-America tight end Maxx Williams, the combination of the great defense and an improved offense could make the Gophers tough to beat. And if you take the word of offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover, one of the strengths for the Gophers is going to be their offensive line, which has true depth at multiple positions.


Dan Duggan of recently posted a mailbag. Among the queries: Will QBs Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig be better than Gary Nova?

Whoever wins the quarterback competition will undoubtedly be in store for some growing pains, especially behind an inexperienced line. If the quarterback can limit mistakes and allow the running game to control the game, Rutgers should be in decent shape. But Duggan doesn?t expect an inexperienced quarterback to come in and match Nova's 2014 production from Day 1.


Summer workouts are heating up on campuses. And the battle at running back at Michigan State will be intense with stud incoming freshman LJ Scott in the fold.

"I'm not going to compare him to Le'Veon Bell, but body type, he looks something like Le'Veon," MSU co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Dave Warner told "He's the prototypical Michigan State back as far as being a big back at 230 pounds. He does have good speed and moves, so he has a combination that we look for, and he might be a guy we can hand the ball to 25 or 30 times a game, or whatever it takes.

"Certainly expectations are high for him. I think you can play early at the skill positions."


Brendan F. Quinn of has taken a look at where Brady Hoke?s former assistants have landed.


About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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